Perpetual Self Analysis… or Better, I Want to Throw Up!


At one time in my life, I was an avid reader of self-help books. I simply devoured the material. You name it, I read it. And amidst all my frenzied study, I felt great. I felt like I had finally discovered the answers to all of my questions. But, looking back at my life, it’s obvious now that my dedicated study was based on one false premise; namely that something was wrong with me; something deeply flawed and in dire need of repair. Self-help promised me discovery. It promised me understanding and liberty from the things that assailed me. It persuaded me that if I just looked deep enough through perpetual self analysis, the remedies were all waiting for me.

Flash forward 20 years and now I want to throw up. Self analysis is a treacherous game that promises freedom while actually offering only bondage and slavery. You don’t become better from self analysis, you become worse. Self analysis purports that inside of you is some indwelling, profound goodness, that if discovered will make all your dreams come true. It suggests that if you can just eliminate enough bad behaviors or thoughts or actions, you will reach righteous nirvana whereby all of the answers will suddenly become breathtakingly clear. The problem is it aint true. It’s the same lie that fuels religion, a more acceptable, code name for self-help. Religion offers that if you can just get “good” enough, God will finally hear your prayers and help you or worse stop effing with you! It implies that all of your problems stem from something you are or are not doing. It seeks to eliminate your spiritual opponent and replace him with “you versus you” with you being the little devil on one of your own shoulders. And while the multitude spends their days embroiled in whether or not they are sinning or did sin or might sin, they have stopped living and succumbed to slavery.

Time spent in perpetual self-analysis is wasted time. It is pure futility in the truest sense of the word. As you probe deeper and deeper into yourself you will find only more darkness, more error, more problems. The Bible says that in your flesh dwells no good thing. It’s the spirit inside of you, once you become born again, that is good. All the rest is you succumbing to a cruel, evil master! All you will ever discover is a “natural man” with sin embedded in his blood line, lost and without hope; without God in this world! Analyzing and judging yourself, for whatever noble cause you have assigned it, is nothing more than you fighting against you. It’s you dwelling on everything that might be wrong with you in an effort to become a better you. Newsflash! You don’t get better by dwelling on and focusing on what is wrong with you. Instead you get weaker, more unsure, more doubtful and generally worse off than when you started. The world won’t tell you this because the world is busy hiding the real source of your problems.

Here is a deep thought! If there was no source of evil in the world, you would never have a problem. Life absent an adversary would work beautifully well in all respects. With no darkness there would only be light. But, this life is not absent an adversary! The adversary is ultimately responsible for every problem you have ever had. The treachery is found in convincing you that you are somehow the source of your own problems. If only you were better here. If only you made better choices. If only you could figure it out. If only your thinking was smarter… If only. Thinking this lie; a lie that has been drummed into our thinking, over and over and over, makes you the problem. It removes your spiritual opponent from the equation. Jesus never sinned, never stepped aside, never made a mistake, yet he suffered. You get it?

Self judgment, which if you’re honest, is what you are doing when you analyze yourself, divides you against you. It splits you up. It causes you to hate yourself. It persuades you to total up, catalog and tally every wrong you have ever done under the guise of making you do right. No-one gets better or stronger functioning this way. You cannot slice yourself into pieces and expect to be made whole. You cannot carve up your own heart and expect a healthy heart! This is the problem with Christianity today. Instead of turning their focus to God and His goodness, most Christians are obsessed with focus on themselves. And in doing so, they are easily defeated. You’ll never believe God to receive His promises with a head full of “what’s wrong with me.”

Your job as God’s lovely little human is to get your mind off yourself! Stop thinking about yourself, dwelling on yourself, analyzing yourself and judging yourself. Stop it! It’s not noble, it’s pathetic and weak! Instead just live your life. God, by way of His wonderful son, fixed everything that was ever wrong with you. He did for you what you could never do for yourself. That’s how wonderful He is, my friend! What He wants from you is a mind free from self-judgment, liberated from self-analysis and walking in the freedom that He gave you! You can read your self-help books. You can learn from anything. But, learn because you are already wonderful, blessed and accepted, no matter what you do or do not do!

You can break free from that nagging, irritating critic that lives inside your head, but it takes a commitment on your part. Stop indulging it. Stop accepting it. Stop buying into it! The troubles you are facing are so because you have a spiritual opponent that seeks nothing but pain and torture for you. It’s not you, it’s him! He gains access but what you will and will not think about; where you will and will not put your focus! Stop throwing up on yourself, wipe off your mouth and walk out in the freedom God gave you! There’s no such thing as self-help! It’s God’s help…

Just some good thoughts…

 

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Why Am I Struggling?


There are times in your life in which you just don’t feel right. And if you are like most humans it drives you nuts. It encompasses you. It engulfs you. You find yourself drowning in it. In response to it you do what you’ve been taught to do. You analyze it and you analyze it and you analyze it some more. You think about it all day and you can’t find an answer of peace though you’ve searched your mind from pillar to post. The more you seek the solution the worse you feel. Instead you discover more bad feelings and more logical causes for your dilemma. You just cannot seem to get there no matter how hard you try. Yet, you dutifully persist, confused and dismayed tunneling further and further underground. The deeper you go the darker it gets and you find no relief. Eventually you have to ask yourself in your futility, “Am I doing something wrong? Is there something else I do not know? Is there a solution to my private nightmare?” The good news is yes my friend, you are doing something wrong.

Life in its basic essence is spiritual. There are spiritual causes for the things that plague you. However, spiritual problems cannot be discerned by your five senses reasoning. Accordingly, you are NEVER going to find your answers by searching the senses realm, though you search diligently night and day forever. Instead all you will find is heartache and loss. All you will discover is more darkness; more obscurity; more things that serve to cloud your mind and render you helpless, hopeless, lost… Darkness works most effectively by garnering your consideration. It presents an inscrutable form of bait designed to appeal to your human reasoning. And evil knows it can easily defeat your human reasoning. Oh yes, it is evil! It is at work in the world to steal, to kill and to destroy and it does so by capturing your attention. And, like every worthwhile bait, behind it is a hook from which you will find it hard to escape.

You are struggling because you are being led down the path of unhappiness. It’s a well worn path because of the millions that have tread it down. And depending upon how long each person traversed on that path, the more misery they have encountered in their life. But, it does not have to be this way. There is a way out but the way out is not what you thought at all. The way out seems to stand in absolute defiance to what we have been taught to do. It is very, very difficult to turn that thinking machine off. It is even harder to resist the temptation to track it like a hound and follow it wherever it may lead. But, resist it you must. Temptation, though always veiled and hard to discern, works by finding a way to get your attention and later keep your attention. You escape by your lack of attention. You break free by deciding to change your focus. You make up your mind to look at something else!

The problem you face today is an insatiable drive to get you to focus on yourself. Everywhere and in every way you are being driven back to yourself, your feelings, your thoughts. “Take time for yourself!” “Focus on yourself!” Self, self, self! “You are most important!” “You are number one!” You, you, you! Obviously your needs are important and of course you want to be happy, but your happiness is most fulfilled when your focus isn’t yourself! I’ll say it again. Your happiness is most fulfilled when your focus isn’t on yourself! It’s a trick. It’s a trap. It is a delusion on a grand scale. It is a lie. It seems right and sounds good, but it is still a damnable lie. When your focus is yourself, all you will find is yourself with all of your faults, failings and imperfections. You have to learn to look at something else.

Have you ever noticed how you can be feeling super crappy about yourself or your problems, imagined or real, and then something demands your focus and takes you away from yourself for a bit? Suddenly you don’t feel so bad or your problems aren’t that big anymore. Your issues didn’t get any smaller, but your focus changed enabling you to see things for what they really are instead of what you imagined them to be in your obsessive focus on yourself. Few things feel as good as a full day of work where you actually focused on the work instead of yourself. Or, maybe the grandkids came over and you focused on blessing them for a while! Wow, suddenly things don’t seem as bad as you thought. These little delights serve as valuable clues. You weren’t designed to focus on yourself, save yourself, or fix yourself. You were made to function best when your focus was on others, expecting God to take care of you! Self-focus is a struggle from which you can easily escape. 

Stop, cease, quit looking inside of yourself to find something good. End the endless stewing and churning and burning. Make up your mind to get out of your own mind and live a little. Stop being so damn cerebral! Cease from living in a world where you are encased with an obsessive focus on yourself. Quit it and for God’s sake let it go! Let it go! You haven’t yet been successful in solving you, have you? Well, you aren’t going to, so I will save you a little (or a lot) of time! Instead move that lovely mind of yours towards something else besides you. Help someone. Build someone up. Do something nice for someone! However or whatever you do, move your focus away from yourself because self-focus sucks and leads you down a miserable path! Outward focus, helpful focus, anything but me focus, leads you to something beautiful and worthwhile. It leads you to life and all the wonder and beauty it entails. 

Choose life, choose others, choose to struggle no more!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

How to Escape from Yourself…


Life has many ironies which God seems to have thrown in for good measure, as if to say things aren’t always what they look like. Ironically, sometimes the thing you need most to do in order to alleviate your present dilemma appears to be the exact opposite of what “you” think you should do. Today the world seems consumed with this notion of self and a myriad of things you need to do to best care for yourself. But, what if many of those suggestions are based in error? What if your solution for your problem isn’t at all what you thought it was? What if your best efforts to feel better ( and let’s face it, a lot of what we do or try to figure out is in an effort to feel better) are unsuccessful because the starting premise is wrong? Error only works when you are unable to see it for what it is…

We all want to be happy. We all want to feel good. We all are aware that life is filled with challenges and we all understand that every day isn’t necessarily going to be a blissful experience because of those challenges. But, we also all know what life is like when we feel good and for that we are forever on a quest to feel good. When our mind feels out of sorts; when we feel agitated or troubled; when our experience feels boring or lacking fulfillment, we know that also. We accurately perceive when our energy is down; when our excitement is diminished; when our enthusiasm is missing and in our desperation we turn inwards. Our mission to feel good drives us further and further into ourselves, searching ardently for that thief, that hindrance, that devious bastard keeping us from our pure happiness. “Maybe it’s because of how I have been acting lately. Maybe it’s my diet. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. Maybe it’s my wife or my husband or my job or my family or my…….” Whatever we think it might be and however it affects us, the end result is the same in that our focus and attention is driven and pressed and steered deeper and deeper into ourselves…

It has been said that the deeper you look at the things God has created, the more perfect they become (think snowflakes, leaves, granules of salt, to name a few). Conversely, the more deeply you inspect things that man has made, the more their errors and imperfections become evident. Similarly, the more you focus (or more accurately are driven to focus) on yourself, the more miserable you will become. Oh sure, you think looking inward will lead you to some divine enlightenment you have heretofore been missing. You believe buried somewhere in your subconscious mind is a temple of knowledge awaiting your arrival. But, sadly, you are wrong. All you will find, if you must persist, is more and more unhappiness and the distinct absence of what you have been searching for so diligently!

Your problem isn’t how you feel, though Lord knows it seems like it. Your problem is one of focus or where you are focusing your attention. If I may say it bluntly, you are inspecting your own imperfection and expecting perfection. You are considering your own weakness in an effort to find strength. You are searching for human solutions to spiritual problems and by spiritual problems I mean the real source of your difficulties. As odd as it may seem to you, your challenges are being engendered by something outside of yourself. And that same damnable force behind your troubles is the same one pushing you inward, deeper and deeper inward for a solution that doesn’t exist within yourself. Your efforts are futile, no matter how well intended they may be. The answer isn’t to look within, but rather to look without.

When you finally figure this out, you will begin to see that you were designed to seek outside of yourself for help. Your focus is supposed to be on God from which all good feelings like joy and peace and love, freely flow. In essence you just give all of your human bullshit to God and leave it with Him. You have to get outside of yourself. You have to escape from yourself and all of your associated baggage. You must stop putting yourself and how you feel at any given moment ahead of everything else in life. It’s not self-care, it’s self-sabotage! It’s a deception of gargantuan proportions. The world’s remedies consisting of focusing on yourself and your happiness and your feelings and your problems don’t lead you out of darkness but instead to more and more darkness. Happiness comes back with a quickness as you move the focus away from yourself! True happiness comes when you walk in the light!

If you’ve been around long enough you know that when you stop moving forward in life and start slowing down and looking around you or within you, you are going to find more and more of that which troubles you. You will discern more and more darkness and more and more reasons to be distressed. Stop doing that! Get up mentally and move ahead. Lay your troubles on God and thank Him for helping you discover what has gone south on you. Ask Him to make it clear again and to restore your soul to that grand place you like to dwell in. It is that simple…

When you find yourself unhappy, disturbed, perplexed or confused, don’t look within, look without. Don’t spend another millisecond muddling through the heaviness. Unload it all as you were intended to do and change your subject of focus. Your answers are there, your happiness is there, your enthusiasm and vitality for living are there, waiting for you to find them again. Don’t look within, look without! Your happiness depends upon you escaping from yourself!

Just some good thoughts…